L323 Fall 2018 History of America in 101 Objects Enhanced, Part 1
Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 18–Nov. 6
Instructor: Mark Weinstein
This is not your typical comprehensive American history course. This is a review and discussion of the output of the Smithsonian Institution’s distillation of over ten million objects in their collections down to the 101 objects that illustrate American history. An Atlantic Monthly article points out 22 of the 50 most significant inventions and discoveries that occurred since the invention of the wheel and which occurred in America between 1750 and the present. Some are in the Smithsonian’s list and the others are added. The course is in two parts, 12 sessions: Part 1 (1750s to early 20th century) and Part 2, winter session (covering mid-20th century to the present). An added benefit, many of the 101 objects are displayed in local Smithsonian museums. The course raises a number of questions: how do these objects fit in particular points in our history; did they impact the majority of the population, the economy, or the government; are they linked to other objects and, if so, what is their combined impact?
Mark Weinstein, an eleven-year OLLI member, is a retired electrical engineer and a docent at both Smithsonian Air and Space Museums. He has given a number of OLLI courses covering aviation and technology. He is a history buff and a news junky, intrigued by technology. In his wild impetuous single days he flew a Piper Tri-Pacer.